Whitening Dirty Washcloths?

July 14, 2007

Many of my white washcloths have a dirt stain in the center (mostly from cleaning my kids' dirty hands/feet at bedtime on those nights they don't get baths. I only use washcloths once before laundering and use lots of bleach, tried RIT whitener (definitely whitened but dirt stains remained). Aside from turning them into rags and starting with new white ones (or dying them a darker color), any tips on whitening? It's not fresh dirt, it's more of a build up.


Tanya from Dayton, IA


July 14, 20071 found this helpful

Tanya, check out this ThriftyFun page "Using Borax instead of Bleach" and you'll get all kinds of whitening tips.

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July 14, 20070 found this helpful

Try All Fabric Bleach. A friend gave me some and it removed all the yucky baby barf stains. I was looking for an organic or biodegradable alternative to borax. Put about a 2 tsp in a bucket of hot water and let sit for a couple days. Won't bleach colors either. My son was eating pomegranates in a light blue polo shirt, yikes! Blue as new and no signs of fruit stains.


I've used it in my carpet cleaner, as a grout cleaner and my husband uses it to clean oil stains from the driveway. It's one of those products I can't live without. I got it from, but other than that I think you have to know someone that sells it. Totally worth every cent.

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By Mom in PA (Guest Post)
July 14, 20070 found this helpful

My mother in law is the laundry queen. She suggest DG Powder Bleach for all whites. It is in an orange box and is the Dollar General store brand, hence the "DG". Good luck!

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By Sheila May (Guest Post)
July 19, 20070 found this helpful

Tanya, a common misconception about white cloth is that it is woven from white cotton whereas it is usually made from greige goods and dyed white. Therefore, when you use bleach on it, it doesn't whiten your laundry, but removes the dye leaving a greyish color behind.


Any of the other products mentioned above, or Oxy-Clean, used according to instructions, should work just fine. (My family calls me the "stainmeister"). Good luck.

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July 19, 20070 found this helpful

Soak the stained washcloths in Oxyclean overnight, then wash with regular detergent, bleach and more Oxyclean. See if that helps.

My step-son went four-wheeling one night and was covered with mud - head to toe. He wore white socks. After the first washing, it was hard to tell that the socks had even been washed, they were still grayish-brown. I washed them by hand for a few minutes to get more dirt out, then soaked them in Oxyclean overnight. The next day, I washed them as I described and they actually came back to white - I could hardly believe it!

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By aardvark (Guest Post)
July 19, 20070 found this helpful

I used OxyMagic this week to pre-soak then wash a white dress shirt my hubby had mistaken thought clean and IRONED. I noticed icky sweat stains and more AFTER he ironed them in.


It came 100% clean when washed as described 3 days later (after an out of state wedding).

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By joesgirl (Guest Post)
July 19, 20070 found this helpful

Try adding 1/2 cup of borax to your regular detergent & 1 cup of bleach.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 228 Posts
July 19, 20070 found this helpful

baking soda added to the wash --
just shake some in & it's inexpensive.
I have been whitening with peroxide latley.
It's 2/$1 here & I use about 1/3 bottle every week--
I cut down on whites in my clothing to wear regurally because it's so much hassle & I'd rather spend time on other things !
My mother was notorious for figuring out ways to lessen her houshold burdons !


She would never have or use white linens .bed clothes or toweling due to the fact that after it is greyed or yellowed it's another expense of either time to correct or cost to replace! !
She would opt for off-white,antique white,cream or eggshell if it was all THAT important ,choose printed bed clothes & definatly a dark color for washcloths !
If my guests or family feel I am inadequate without all the "whites" they know where there are Motels that use whites !
My time is MINE & I don't run a catering service !

I just read another whitening tip that has been around but I forgot !
Lemon Juice ! It will make your clothes smell so nice !
also you can add it along with baking soda !

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 378 Feedbacks
July 20, 20070 found this helpful

Just go right to dying them pink or blue and be done once and for all!

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By Susan (Guest Post)
August 22, 20071 found this helpful

My light colored wash cloths are all stained. At first I blamed my husband who works construction. But then I started see the ones I use stained also. Always right in the middle.


I think it is the liquid body wash that is staining them. No amt of bleach or oxy or borateem works to remove the stain! Anybody else notice this?

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July 16, 20120 found this helpful

If I can't get most anything to come out, I use a cheap brand of liquid dishwasher detergent. I soak until they are clean, sometimes takes a long time, but it has never failed me and it is safe on most colors also. Just make sure the detergent is completely mixed in water before immersing the item(s).

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May 4, 20170 found this helpful

I work at a hotel ,our towels is getting dirty an stained what the solution or product we can used

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January 6, 20190 found this helpful

It is definitely the liquid body wash that turns the washcloths gray in the center. Although various remedies are suggested if you google the problem, the most common solution is to stop using body wash or switch to non-white washcloths.

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November 20, 20190 found this helpful

The washclothes I use on my grandkids are all staining in the middle. It's got to be the liquid body/shampoo wash which is Suave apple scent. The washclothes I use are not staining. Nothing gets these stains out either.

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